Chocolate Festival. Belmont Shore. Are we in, Jacob asked?
Driving down to see Jacob. Ian's already been to the farmer's market and the Korean market, now it's time for chocolate. Today is a good day.
We picked up Jacob, drove to the Belmont Shore and parked. Tickets can be bought many places along 2nd Street, but the main spot is the Chase Bank right in the center. Ticket books are $10 for 12 tickets. Vendors typically have items for 1-3 tickets.
Unlike the Belmont Shore Stroll and Savor, which we've gone to a few times over the years, this event is one day only and only lasts 3 hours from 1pm-4pm. This is the 11th annual Chocolate Festival which is held just before Valentines day. We missed the chocolate chip pancake breakfast earlier this morning from 9-11. Guess we'll have to eat more chocolate now to make up for it.
Ticket books in hand, now where can we spend them?
Here's a map of all the shops participating.
Our first stop was Panama Joe's for Pollo con Mole Blanco - pan seared chicken breast, white Mole sauce, onions, cilantro, and roasted pepita seeds. Mole (mo-lay) is a generic name for a number of sauces, originally used in Mexican cuisine, based with Chocolate.
The three of us all had a piece and while it was tasty, it didn't remind us much of chocolate. Still tasty though.
While out walking around, there were a few girl scouts pushing around these wagons full of cookies. Later in the day, I saw quite a few empty wagons. I bet these girl scouts made some quick sales out here.
Next up was Urban Table. They offered the typical chocolate chip cookies and brownies, but also a couple unique offerings.
The first was a classic S'more which was fantastic. The second was a chocolate chili which if you hadn't have told me there was chocolate in it, I wouldn't have guessed it.
T likes the S'more.
Our next stop was an Italian place called La Strada. I've enjoyed their bruschetta and pizza at past Stroll and Savors. I'm hoping they make good dessert too.
They offered a Mississippi Mud Pie (which Jacob thought was tasty but too expensive costing 2 tickets for such a tiny piece), and a dark chocolate and raspberry gelato with a chocolate shell. I thought it was tasty, but T thought it was a little too much raspberry.
At Rubios, Jacob broke with the chocolate theme and got a lemon bar.
Along the route, there was live music.
Across the street at the Creamistry, instead of putting out ice cream like you might expect, they had brownies and Nutella waffle rolls.
Jacob and I split one of those. It had chocolate and crunchy pieces of hazelnuts inside it. Delicious.
Always a favorite, the Frosted Cupcakery had quite the line. Everyone was lining up to get their delicious treats for only 1 ticket each.
Their red velvet and cream cheese hi-tops are delicious.
As are the chocolate mini cupcakes.
I showed them both to Ian and he was quick to grab one in each hand. Yes it's a little messy, but he loved them. He enjoyed quite a few bites of the hi-top.
I was a little disappointed to not seeing any offerings from Nick's on 2nd. At the Stroll and Savor events, they've always had some of my favorites, including fall off the bone ribs, and a chicken waffle sandwich. Continuing onwards we skipped the chocolate crepe at La Creperia as well as the chocolate smoothie from Jamba Juice.
It looked like Sweet Jills just brought out their case to sell everything on the sidewalk.
I don't understand why all the shops along the street don't just put something chocolate out to sell. People are here en masse and they want to buy something. Here Romance Etc, a flower shop, is selling lots of delicious looking brownies and cupcakes. Very smart of them.
Looks pretty good to me.
Now if there's one place you know is going to be all over this Chocolate Festival it's the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. While we were walking towards it, we anticipated chocolate covered bacon and other goodies. When we arrived there, it was closed up! After 14 years being here, it finally closed up shop. Bummer. The Open Sesame restaurant had instead set up a small table in front of it.
George's Greek Cafe offered some tasty treats.
And at Taco Surf, Chocolate Tamales were on the menu.
At the very end of the street Cheese Addiction had a couple offerings. Besides brownies and cookies, they also offered a chocolate cheese.
It was a bit weird. It really reminded me of fudge, but wasn't as good as fudge.
Since we're in the area, might as well go to Cheese Addiction to pick up some of our favorites. We've actually been here before and found a couple of great cheeses we liked.
I still wish they'd give something a little bigger than these paper-thin samples.
Someone likes cheese. Man he looks so big now.
Munching on a pretzel loaf from Cheese Addiction.
Our last tasty stop was Powell's Sweet Shop.
Here they sold raspberry sorbets in chocolate shot glass cups.
Ian thought it was really good.
And we wasn't very happy when I took it away.
After so much walking around, Ian was ready for a nap. He passed out so we headed towards the beach and walked along the Long Beach Strand.
After having our dessert first, for dinner we ate at Jerry's Wood Fired Dogs. There's all sorts of tasty choices like the LA Dog (like you might find on the street corner after a sporting event), a Mac and Cheese dog, Chicago dog, and others. I thought they were pretty tasty and would definitely go back here again. My one gripe was the portion sizes for the onion rings. While they were delicious, when I'm paying $3.80 for onion rings, I want more than 6 rings!
As we were leaving the parking lot, the Hot Doughnuts Now sign at the Krispy Kreme came on. Guess that means one more stop!
Ian watched the donuts as they came down the line and got a free sample when they were done.
And here's the only little boy who doesn't like sweet fried dough. Sigh.
Well it was a great day hanging out with Jacob and enjoying the Belmont Shore sampling lots of different chocolates. We're looking forward to our next event down here!